COVID-19 deaths

There were 1,122 deaths due to COVID-19 registered in 2021, accounting for 0.7% of all deaths in Australia.

The number (and rates) of deaths increased with increasing age (Figure 4.1). In 2021 there were no deaths among those aged under 15 and 8% of all COVID-19 deaths were among those aged under 55, whereas 31% deaths occurred among those aged 85 and over (Table S4.1).

There were more COVID-19 deaths in 2021 among males (660 deaths, 59%) than among females (462 deaths, 41%).

In 2021 males had a consistently higher number and rate of COVID-19 deaths than females across all age groups, excluding those aged 85 years and over. While the number of deaths were the same for males and females aged 85 years and over, the death rate was higher for males (84 deaths per 100,000) than females (54 deaths per 100,000) (Figure 4.1).

Between the ages of 60–69 and 80–84 years the death rate for males was more than twice that of females in the same age group (Table S4.1).

In 2021, deaths due to COVID-19 were registered among residents of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory. Most deaths in 2021 were among people residing in New South Wales (557 deaths, 49.6%) and Victoria (553 deaths 49.3%).

For the latest statistics on deaths due to COVID-19, see Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports Provisional Mortality Statistics and COVID-19 Mortality in Australia.

Figure 4.1: Number of deaths and age-specific rates (per 100,000 population) in Australia due to COVID-19, by age and sex, 2021

In 2021, the number and rate of death due to COVID-19 generally increased with increasing age for both males and females. The rate of death was consistently lower for females across all age groups.

Note: COVID-19 is coded to ICD-10 codes U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified), U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified), U08.9 (Personal history of COVID-19, unspecified), U09, (Post COVID-19 condition, unspecified) or U10.9 (Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19, unspecified). Only deaths where COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death are included. In 2021, they included codes U07.1 and U07.2.

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database; Table S4.1.